Category: Grades of Green
Created by environmental education non-profit Grades of Green and sponsored by the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, as well as Santa Monica-based LAcarGUY, the third annual Trash-Free Lunch Challenge, an L.A. County contest that rewards schools for reducing lunchtime trash, has doubled in scope since its inception two years ago.
“LAcarGUY is thrilled to sponsor Grades of Green and the Trash-Free Lunch Challenge. There’s no better way to teach eco-friendly habits to the next generation,” said Mike Sullivan, founder and President of LAcarGUY.
The Trash-Free Lunch Challenge has diverted as many as 40,000 bags of trash from area landfills and saved schools thousands of dollars over two years. “With 24 schools in this year’s program, we expect to see nearly 30,000 more bags of trash diverted from the new schools alone,” said Lisa Coppedge, Grades of Green’s Director of Programs. “But what’s more important is that an additional 17,500 students will learn how to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost–new habits that will protect the environment in the years to come.”
The competition gets underway October 2, when representatives from each school will attend a training session and tour of the Sanitation Districts’ Puente Hills Landfill and Materials Recovery Facility.
Once the competing schools implement their Trash-Free Lunch programs, Grades of Green selects three finalists through an application process. A panel of environmental experts and other judges will evaluate the implementation and success of the three finalists’ programs. The winning school will receive a Grand Prize of a $1,000 education grant. The second- and third-place schools will receive $750 and $500, respectively.
Though the deadline has passed to compete in this year’s Trash-Free Lunch Challenge, any school may still initiate a Trash-Free Lunch program. Complete instructions are available at no cost to schools at www.gradesofgreen.org/initiatives/trash-redux/trash-free-tuesdays.
LAcarGUY, the leading hybrid dealer group in the world, was a proud sponsor for the second annual Grades of Green Trash Free Lunch Challenge at local schools. There were 17 local schools that participated in the challenge and the top three were all sponsored by LAcarGUY stores! First Place went to Lunada Bay Elementary School, sponsored by Pacific Porsche. They won by reducing trash going to landfills by 87.5%. The school was honored with a celebration on Earth Day, on April 22, and will received a $1,000 education grant. Riviera Elementary School, sponsored by Audi Pacific and Washington Elementary, sponsored by Subaru Pacific tied for second place among the 17 schools and will receive awards of $750 each. Before the Trash Free Lunch Challenge the Lunada Bay School were producing 13 bags of trash and 0 bins for recycling. After the Challenge they reduced this to 5 bags of trash and increased their recycling to 2 full bins per day. The students at Lunada Bay also designed a water drip irrigation system consisting of plastic water and juice containers as an irrigation system for the schools fruit and vegetable garden where they are growing kale, lettuce and strawberries. President/Owner of LAcarGUY Mike Sullivan responds to the great news, “This is one of my favorite projects of the year to be a part of. We are so proud of these kids for taking complete control of their environment and then going home and teaching their parents….what a great cycle. I’m really happy that Alisha could be a part of the judging panel and take those learnings back to LAcarGUY; really teaches our employees the benefits of sustainability in our everyday lives. Couldn’t be more proud.” A judging panel of five environmental experts visited Lunada Bay and two other finalists in the competition—Riviera Elementary in Torrance, and Washington Elementary in Redondo Beach—earlier today to determine the Grand Prize winner. The panel included Alisha Auringer, Manager of the Environment, LAcarGUY; Marieta Francis, Executive Director, Algalita Marine Research Foundation; Abby Landers, El Segundo High School Grades of Green club president and Youth Board Advisor for Grades of Green; Michelle Nakamura, Operations Manager, 5 Gyres Institute; and RupamSoni, Senior Environmental Engineer, Sanitation Districts of L.A. County. Even though this year’s Trash-Free Lunch Challenge is nearly complete, any school may initiate Grades of Green’s Trash Free Lunch program, as well as more than 40 other environmental activities. Complete instructions are available at no cost to schools at www.gradesofgreen.org.
LAcarGUY is a proud sponsor of the Grades of Green Trash-Free Lunch Challenge and last week, three South Bay elementary schools were named finalists: Lunada Bay Elementary, Riviera Elementary and Washington Elementary. The contest, which is also sponsored by the Sanitation Districts of L.A. County and the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation, teaches kids to reduce trash by using reusable lunch containers and by sorting compostable and recyclable materials.
Lunada Bay Elementary in Palos Verdes, Riviera Elementary in Torrance, and Washington Elementary in Redondo Beach were selected from a group of 17 entrants countywide.
A judging panel of five environmental experts will visit the three schools to select the winner on Tuesday, April 16, and the winning school will be honored with a celebration on Earth Day, Monday, April 22. All schools will receive education grants from Chevron. The winning school will receive a $1,000 grant. The second and third runners-up will receive a $750 grant and a $500 grant, respectively.
“All three finalists have achieved amazing results, so this is going to be one tough competition,” said Grace Robinson Chan, Sanitation Districts’ Chief Engineer and General Manager. “The three finalists in this year’s Trash-Free Lunch Challenge cut their trash destined for landfills by nearly 90% on average, which shows the astonishing potential for this program. It’s teaching kids how to protect the environment now and in the years to come.”
“Once we show kids how simple and how important it is to reduce waste, they get excited about the difference they can make, and start new habits that will carry with them for life,” said Lisa Coppedge, Grades of Green Co-Founder and Director of Programs. “Not only are they protecting the environment, they’re saving money for both their parents and their schools.” Coppedge noted that reduced trash pick-up fees saves thousands of dollars for each school that implements the Trash Free Lunch program.
The Trash-Free Lunch Challenge judging panel includes Alisha Auringer, Environmental and Sustainability Coordinator, LAcarGUY; Marieta Francis, Executive Director, Algalita Marine Research Foundation; Abby Landers, El Segundo High School Grades of Green club president and Youth Board Advisor for Grades of Green; Michelle Nakamura, Operations Manager, 5 Gyres Institute; and Rupam Soni, Senior Environmental Engineer, Sanitation Districts of L.A. County.
Schools are encouraged to implement Grades of Green’s Trash Free Lunch program at any time. There are also 40 other environmental activities with complete instructions available at no cost to schools at www.gradesofgreen.org.
LAcarGUY’s group of South Bay dealerships have partnered with Grades of Green to kick off the 2013 Trash Free Lunch Challenge. Grades of Green is challenging schools to reduced lunchtime waste by encouraging students to pack trash-free lunches and to sort waste into recycle, compost and landfill bins. The 4R System that Grades of Green introduced helped divert over 10,000 bags of trash and saved participating schools thousands of dollars in 2011-2012.
The project teaches students the 4Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot (compost)
- By bringing TRASH FREE each day, the students will make a difference at school by REDUCING lunch time landfill waste. They will know the number of landfill bags produced at lunch before the Challenge and by being TRASH FREE during the Challenge, they will see that number decrease.
- By bringing REUSABLE lunch boxes, water bottles, sandwich and snack containers each day they will reduce lunch time waste.
- The school will implement a sorting system during lunch which will include bins for: RECYCLING, ROT (compost), liquids and stacked trays. Educational games will teach students about WHAT items go into each bin and WHY.
- Each bin in the sorting system will be clearly labeled to support students in the proper sorting process. These signs will educate and reinforce the concepts of REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE and ROT.
The Grades of Green team has been visiting participating schools and holding assemblies to educate students and get them excited about the project. Applications to participate in the project are due March 15th and finalist chosen among those schools with the least amount of trash will be announced March 22nd. Judges will visit the finalists on April 16th and the winning school will be announced on April 22nd at the awards ceremony.
Participating schools include:
- Vista Mar High School
- Washington Elementary
- Riviera Elementary
- Lunada Bay Elementary
And supporting LAcarGUY dealerships are Pacific VW, Audi Pacific, Subaru Pacific and Pacific Porsche.
LAcarGUY is partnering with Grades of Green, a nonprofit organization based in the South Bay with the mission to inspire and empower students and the broader school community to care for the environment, to host the “Trash Free Lunch Challenge.” The challenge will encourage schools to focus on reducing lunchtime trash while educating students about the 4Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot. Students will be encouraged to bring lunches from home in reusable containers and to use other reusable items, such as stainless steel bottles and cloth napkins. Each school participating in the challenge will implement a lunch time sorting system where items that would normally be tossed into the trash will be sorted into the proper bins, such as recycle and compost. “We are thrilled to partner with Grades of Green to bring this exciting Challenge to schools in our communities” says Alisha Auringer, manager of the environment with LAcarGUY.
The four schools sponsored by LAcarGUY will compete against twelve other schools throughout the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles area during the 2012-2013 school year.
The first 16 schools to register for the challenge will receive:
- An Eco-Consultation of the school resulting in an eco-consultation report.
- A Training Day including a tour of the Puentes Hills Landfill hosted by Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County.
- An Eco-Prize Kit filled with raffle prizes such as Go Green Lunch Boxes, Neat-o reusable pouches, Ween Green snack containers, and a Street Surfing Wave Board.
- A “Prep-Rally” School Assembly to be held at their school where the Grades of Green team will educate and motivate students to reduce landfill waste and work hard to win the Trash Free Lunch Challenge!
- An Eco-Tool Kit containing hand stamps, trivia cards, a raffle box and tickets, and laminated Grades of Green signs for the sorting system.
The Trash Free Lunch Challenge winning school will be announced the week before Earth Day 2013 and awarded a $1,000 Grand Prize during a school wide celebration. The 2nd place school will receive a $750 prize and 3rd place will be awarded $500.
In 2011-2012, schools who participated in the Trash Free Lunch Challenge reduced lunch time waste by an average of 71%, and collectively diverted over 11,000 bags of waste, or 82.5 TONS of waste, from going to the landfill in one year.
For more information about the Trash Free Lunch Challenge and to sign up your school to participate, visit www.gradesofgreen.org/trashchallenge.
Toyota Hollywood will be providing three Black Prius’ for the 21st Annual Environmental Media Association awards October 15th at the Warner Brother’s lot. We will be driving Emmanuelle Chriqui, Perrey Reeves and Constance Zimmer.
Providing Prius’ is something we at Toyota Hollywood do every year! We love to drive celebrities to events like the EMA Awards, however we did not know who we were actually driving to the event this year until Wednesday night!
The annual EMA Awards honor film and television personalities, productions, musicians and musical tours that convey environmental messages in the most creative and influential ways. Since 1991, the EMA Awards has been the only program solely devoted to celebrating the entertainment industry’s environmental efforts. A pioneer in linking the power of celebrity to environmental awareness, it was EMA who invented the ‘green carpet,’ launching the concept of taking a hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle, not a limo, to the annual Awards show.